Seizures (Generalized and Partial) Types and Causes | Neurology

What are the seizures?

Seizures are an unexpected, wild electrical aggravation in the cerebrum. It can cause changes in your behavior, movements, or feelings, and in your levels of consciousness. If you have two or more seizures or tend to have frequent seizures, you have epilepsy.

There are many types of seizures, which range in severity. The types of seizures vary according to where and how they start in the brain. Nearly seizures last from 30 seconds to two minutes. A seizure that lasts more than five minutes is considered a medical emergency.

Seizures are more common than you might think. Seizures can occur after a stroke, a closed head injury, or an infection such as meningitis or another illness. Often, the cause of a seizure is unknown.

Most seizure disorders can be controlled with medication, but seizure control can have a big impact on your daily life. The good news is that you can work with your health care professional to balance seizure control with the side effects of medications.

Types of seizures

Generalized seizures

Summed up seizures include the whole cerebrum from the beginning. Includes common subspecies:

  • Tonic-clonic (grand mal): This is the most common subtype. Your arms and legs will stiffen, and you may stop breathing for a bit. Then your limbs will vibrate. Your head will also move.
  • Absence seizures (petit mal): You lose consciousness briefly when you have one of these. Children get it more often than adults. It usually only lasts a few seconds.
  • Febrile seizures: These are the convulsions that a child may have from a high temperature caused by an infection. It can last a few minutes but is usually harmless.
  • Infantile spasms: These symptoms usually stop at the age of four. The child’s body suddenly stiffens, and his head turns forward. Many children with these diseases will develop these diseases later in their lives.

Partial (focal) seizures

There are two types:

  • Focal onset aware seizure: You remain conscious during a seizure, and it is very short (usually less than 2 minutes). You may or may not be able to respond to people while this is happening.
  • Focal onset impaired awareness seizures: It can cause loss of consciousness. You can also do things without knowing it, such as smacking your lips, chewing, moving your legs, or pushing your pelvis.

What are the symptoms of a seizure?

You can experience both focal and generalized seizures at the same time, or they can occur one before the other. Symptoms can last anywhere from a few seconds to 15 minutes per episode.

Sometimes, symptoms occur before a seizure occurs. May include:

  • A sudden feeling of fear or anxiety
  • The feeling of nausea in your stomach
  • Dizziness
  • Change in vision
  • A jerky movement in the arms and legs may cause things to fall
  • The feeling of leaving the body
  • A headache

Include symptoms that indicate a seizure:

  • Loss of consciousness followed by confusion
  • Having muscle spasms that cannot be controlled
  • Drooling or frothiness in the mouth
  • Drop
  • A strange taste in your mouth
  • Gnashing your teeth
  • Bite your tongue
  • The presence of sudden and rapid eye movements
  • Unusual noises, such as snoring
  • Loss of control of bladder or bowel function
  • Sudden mood changes

Causes of seizures

Seizures of all kinds are caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain.

It can include causes of this disease:

  • Abnormal levels of sodium or glucose in the blood
  • Brain infection, including meningitis and encephalitis
  • A brain injury that occurs to a child during labor or birth
  • Brain problems that occur before birth (congenital brain defects)
  • Brain tumor (rare)
  • Drug abuse
  • Electric shock
  • Epilepsy
  • Fever (particularly in young children)
  • Head injury
  • Heart disease
  • Heat illness (heat intolerance)
  • High fever
  • Phenylketonuria (PKU), which can cause seizures in infants
  • Poisoning
  • Street drugs are angel dust (PCP), cocaine, amphetamines
  • Stroke
  • Toxemia of pregnancy
  • The accumulation of toxins in the body due to kidney or liver failure
  • Very high blood pressure (malignant hypertension)
  • Venomous bites and stings (such as snake bites)
  • Refrain from consuming alcohol or certain medications after using them for a long time

Sometimes, a cause cannot be found. These are called idiopathic seizures. It usually appears in children and young adults, but it can occur at any age. There might be a family background of epilepsy or seizures. If it persists repeatedly after treating the underlying problem, the condition is called epilepsy.

What is a diagnosis of seizure?

Your doctor will ask you for details about your epileptic seizure and conduct a neurological examination. This will include asking questions about your emotional state and testing your motor skills and mental function. Then they can order one or more of the following tests:

  • Blood or spinal tap tests to look for infection
  • Electroencephalography (EEG), during which a technician attaches electrodes to your brain to monitor the electrical activity inside it
  • An imaging test such as an MRI, computed tomography, or positron emission tomography (PET) scan to look for any problems in your brain

If it occurs frequently, your doctor may give you a more complex test in which electrodes are inserted into your brain through small holes in your skull. This can also be the first step in epilepsy surgery.


A seizure at certain times can lead to conditions that are dangerous for you or others. You may be in danger:

  • If you fall during an epileptic seizure, you can injure your head or break a bone.
  • If you have a seizure while swimming or showering, you are at risk of accidental drowning.
  • Car accidents: A seizure that causes loss of consciousness or control can be dangerous if you drive a car or operate other equipment.
  • Pregnancy complications: Seizures during pregnancy pose a risk to both the mother and the baby, and some antiepileptic medicines increase the risk of birth defects. If you have epilepsy and are planning to become pregnant, work with your doctor so he can adjust your medications and monitor your pregnancy, as needed.
  • Emotional health problems: People who have this disease are more likely to have psychological problems, such as depression and anxiety. The problems may be a result of the difficulties dealing with the condition itself as well as the side effects of medications.

How are seizures treated?

Treatments for seizures depend on the cause. By addressing the cause of seizures, you may be able to prevent future seizures. Includes treatment of seizures caused by epilepsy:

  • Pharmaceutical
  • Surgery to correct brain abnormalities
  • Nerve stimulation
  • A special diet is known as the keto diet

With regular treatment, you can reduce or stop the symptoms of this disease.

How can you prevent seizures?

In many cases, a seizure cannot be prevented. However, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can give you the best chance to reduce your risks. You can do the following:

  • Get enough sleep
  • Eat a healthy diet and stay well hydrated
  • Exercising regularly
  • Engage in stress reduction techniques
  • Avoid taking illegal drugs

If you are taking medication for epilepsy or other medical conditions, take it as your doctor recommends.


Types and Symptoms of Epilepsy | Neurology

What is epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a brain disorder in which a person has recurring seizures over time. Seizures are episodes of uncontrolled and abnormal activation of brain cells that cause changes in attention or behavior.

In epilepsy, the electrical rhythms of the brain tend to become unbalanced, causing recurrent seizures. In patients with epilepsy, the normal electrical pattern is suddenly and synchronously damaged by electrical energy, briefly affecting their consciousness, movements, or sensations.

Alternate name

  • Seizure disorder

Types of epilepsy

Epilepsy is classified into two types, which include:

Generalized seizures affect both sides of the brain.

  • Absence seizures, sometimes called petit mal epilepsy, blinks rapidly or gazes into space for a few seconds.
  • Tonic-clonic seizures also named grand mal seizures, can make a person
      • Cry out
      • Lose consciousness
      • Fall to the ground
      • Have muscle jerks or spasms

Focal seizures: Seizures caused by electrical impulses arising from a relatively small or “localized” part of the brain (known as a focus). There are two types of focal seizures:

  • Focal seizures with retained consciousness, this type of focal seizure were previously known as a simple partial seizure.
  • Focal seizures with a loss of consciousness, this type of focal seizure may also be called a focal dyscognitive seizure (previously identified as complex partial seizures)

Causes of epilepsy

Causes of epilepsy include:

  • Genetics
  • Brain structure abnormalities
  • Metabolism changes
  • Immune system abnormalities
  • Trauma
  • Stroke
  • Tumors
  • Infectious disease
  • Unknown causes

Symptoms of epilepsy

Symptoms of epilepsy vary. They depend on how much the brain is affected and where the affected area is.

Generalized seizures: If you have this type of seizure, the seizures start on either side of the brain (or quickly affect the networks of brain cells on both sides).

  • Generalized motor seizures (Grand Mal): The patient loses consciousness and often collapses. Loss of consciousness is followed by violent shaking (known as the “tonic” phase of seizure) instead of normal physical activity (known as the “tonic” phase of seizure), followed by a deep sleep of the patient (called the “postical “or” after a seizure ” phase). During grand-mal epilepsy, injuries, and accidents such as tongue biting and urinary incontinence can occur.
  • Generalized non-motor (or absence) seizures: They are called “petit mal” seizures. The loss of consciousness is so brief that the person usually does not change position. For a few seconds, the person can:
    • Have a blank stare
    • Blink rapidly
    • Make chewing movements
    • Move an arm or leg rhythmically.

Partial (focal) seizures:

Simple partial seizures do not imply loss of consciousness. Symptoms include:

  • Changes to a sense of taste, smell, sight, hearing, or touch
  • Dizziness
  • Tingling and twitching of limbs

Complicated partial seizures include loss of awareness or consciousness. Other symptoms include:

  • Staring blankly
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Performing repetitive movements

Diagnosis of epilepsy

The diagnosis of epilepsy depends on your history of epilepsy. Your doctor will ask if you have any symptoms that you can remember, such as feeling weird or experiencing any warning signs before the seizure occurs. It can be helpful to talk to those who have seen your seizure and ask them for certain what they saw, especially if you do not remember the seizure.

Your doctor may also perform tests that include blood tests, an EEG (electroencephalogram), and brain scans, such as a CT scan or MRI.

A person can have epilepsy even with normal results on EEG and brain scans; however, abnormal results can help classify the type of epilepsy.

If your child or someone you know has epilepsy, it may help to videotape it on your mobile phone. This will support your doctor to make a more specific diagnosis.

Treatment for epilepsy

There is currently no remedy for most types of epilepsy.


The most common treatment used to reduce or prevent seizures is anti-seizure drugs. Your doctor may prescribe one or more medications to treat the specific type of seizure you have. Your doctor will need to adjust the dose and/or type of medicine to find the best treatment for you. 70% of epilepsy patients lose their medication without restrictions if they take it regularly. Some patients may need medications for life; Patients should not stop taking the medicine without first consulting their doctor.


Surgery is usually done if you know that your seizures start in a well-defined area of your brain that does not interfere with important functions like speech, language, or hearing. Medicine in other cases of drug-resistant epilepsy, your doctor may recommend a type of treatment called vagus nerve stimulation. To do this, you must place a small device under the skin of your chest. The device produces electrical pulses to the vagus nerve in the neck. 

It is difficult to control one type of treatment for children with certain types of seizures, which include a strict high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet. This diet is called the ketogenic diet. This diet must be prescribed and supervised by a doctor. Among all treatments, work with your doctor to decide the best treatment for you.


Researchers have found that a ketogenic diet can decrease or eliminate seizures in some children and adults. The diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that helps to create ketones, which attack the brain and cause fewer or fewer seizures. Typical foods on this diet include eggs, bacon, avocados, cheese, nuts, fish, and a few fruits and vegetables.

The diet is strict and often begins in a hospital. It has been shown to be successful with some children who do not respond well to medication. However, it can be used in combination with a C-section in some people.


While seizures are connected to another medical condition, knowing and treating that medical condition is critical to prevention. If anti-seizure medications are prescribed, it is important to take the medication at the suggested times and avoid the medications.

  • Some people with epilepsy are very sensitive to alcohol. If this pattern develops, stay away from alcohol. Others may have seizures only after they have stopped consuming too much alcohol. The key to prevention is avoiding alcohol.
  • Insomnia and stress in some people with epilepsy definitely increase the frequency of epilepsy.


Having epilepsy puts you at risk for injury. During a seizure, you may fall, hurt yourself, or inhale food or saliva. You should avoid using heavy machinery, working at height, or underwater. You can even stop driving if your seizures are not controlled. Care must be taken around the water when swimming or bathing.

Children with epilepsy have trouble learning or concentrating.

Epilepsy affects your life and you need to pay more attention to your health. Some people experience a lot of anxiety or depression when they are first diagnosed.

When to contact the doctor

Call your doctor if:

  • You have a seizure that lasts more than 5 minutes
  • He was injured during the seizure
  • The process you usually feel during and after detention
  • It takes longer than usual to recover after a seizure
  • Your seizures become more severe or occur more often
  • The second confiscation takes place immediately after the first
  • You are pregnant
  • Do you have diabetes?
  • You may have sudden headaches, numbness, or weakness on one side of your body, or problems with vision or speech before you have a seizure. These could be signs of a stroke.

Departments to consult for this condition

  • Department of Neurology